The African Development Bank has given a grant of $43m to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan for the implementation of the country’s Short-Term Regional Emergency Response Project (STRERP).
The project is designed to enable the Government meet the war-torn country’s growing food and nutrition needs, while building community resilience, as hunger reaches unprecedented levels in the country. It will also support ongoing longer-term efforts to improve the people’s resilience and food security.
More than two million people have been displaced since conflict erupted in South Sudan in 2013. As many as 6.3 million people are severely food insecure in the world’s youngest country where conflict has led to close to 400,000 deaths.
Despite the harvest in September, as many as 5.2 million people will remain in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 3 (Crisis), not knowing where their next meal would come from between January and March 2019, with some 36,000 people forecast to be in Phase 5 (Catastrophe), experiencing famine-like conditions in parts of the country, according to the latest IPC report.
The grant will be implemented by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). WFP and partners are scaling up food and cash assistance to reach up to 5 million people in the worst-affected areas of South Sudan by the end of 2018.
“We are very grateful for the contribution from the Bank,” said Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director in South Sudan. “It will go a long way in helping us provide life-saving support at a critical period and ensure people have the means to feed themselves not only today but also in the future.”
WFP activities are designed both to address immediate food needs while promoting the ability of vulnerable communities to withstand future shocks to their food security. WFP provides various kinds of assistance – food for people building and restoring community assets, life-saving emergency food, emergency school feeding and the treatment of malnutrition among children, and pregnant and nursing women.
Benedict Kanu, AfDB’s Country Manager in South Sudan said STRERP reflects the Bank’s commitment to supporting its Regional Member Countries (RMCs) in addressing the drivers of food insecurity and unstable food production systems.
“The Bank’s approach goes beyond addressing the immediate humanitarian needs through food assistance, but also seeks to build resilience of the affected communities and strengthen the capacity of government institutions to effectively plan, coordinate and implement disaster risk management and humanitarian responses,” Kanu said.
He, therefore, called on all development partners to work together to address the underlying drivers of vulnerability in drought-prone areas in the country